Refining and context building

Final Major Project / 11

Nov 15, 2021

Luchen Peng, Tiana Robison, Jinsong (Sylvester) Liu




The project is close to the end, and there are only two weeks left. At this stage, we need to think of how to conclude and present our research, collaborative making and prototypes into an outcome. In the beginning, we have an idea of putting all objects in a “black market”. Even though the project has developed, the original concept can still adapt. Corresponding to the feedback from tutors, we decided to build a speculative commercial stand to introduce all the critical artefacts.


Prototype refining


The commercial stand will incorporate serval critical objects, including one usable prototype, “Yesboss”. So the first task for us is to refine to cardboard model into a more natural product. I created a sketch with tech specs and measurement, and Tiana and Luchen helped with the laser cutting and finally, we made an acrylic shield for the product. Meanwhile, I also changed the script and hoped to achieve a more obvious manifesto towards gender and racial bias. For example, instead of only asking the audience to use a moustache, the instruction says “make your face more masculine” and leave the option open.






Context building


Tiana and Luchen were leading this part. We created a fake start-up company called “hypefuture” that make products to help people suffering from bias in AI. Using the visual language of big tech companies, we aim to attract people as “the next big tech hype,” but underneath, the products aim to provoke the discussion on data bias. Tiana and Luchen designed the visual identity around this speculative background, including the logo, staff badges, product packages and posters. We plan to set up the stand at the London College of Communication where visitors can experience the prototype and have discussions with us.



Reflection


It was a bit rush to end the project here, and I feel there’s so much left to do. For instance, the commercial stand context can further develop into an activity in a tech conference. There is an opportunity for the project to reach the computer science experts, and it would be intriguing to see how they reflect. Or we can generate some activity on social media and make it an ongoing, open-sourced project. However, given the limitation, I reckon we still get a fruitful research journey by exploring this topic. The mini-exhibition could test the friction of commercial and critical design, and I’m looking forward to the unexpected conversation soon.